Arginine deprivation as a targeted therapy for cancer.
ABSTRACT Certain cancers may be auxotrophic for a particular amino acid, and amino acid deprivation is one method to treat these tumors. Arginine deprivation is a novel approach to target tumors which lack argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS) expression. ASS is a key enzyme which converts citrulline to arginine. Tumors which usually do not express ASS include melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, some mesotheliomas and some renal cell cancers. Arginine can be degraded by several enzymes including arginine deiminase (ADI). Although ADI is a microbial enzyme from mycoplasma, it has high affinity to arginine and catalyzes arginine to citrulline and ammonia. Citrulline can be recycled back to arginine in normal cells which express ASS, whereas ASS(-) tumor cells cannot. A pegylated form of ADI (ADI-PEG20) has been formulated and has shown in vitro and in vivo activity against melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. ADI-PEG20 induces apoptosis in melanoma cell lines. However, arginine deprivation can also induce ASS expression in certain melanoma cell lines which can lead to in vitro drug resistance. Phase I and II clinical trials with ADI-PEG20 have been conducted in patients with melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, and antitumor activity has been demonstrated in both cancers. This article reviews our laboratory and clinical experience as well as that from others with ADI-PEG20 as an antineoplastic agent. Future direction in utilizing this agent is also discussed.
Article: Pegylated recombinant human arginase (rhArg-peg5,000mw) inhibits the in vitro and in vivo proliferation of human hepatocellular carcinoma through arginine depletion.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is believed to be auxotrophic for arginine through the lack of expression of argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS). The successful use of the arginine-depleting enzyme arginine deiminase (ADI) to treat ASS-deficient tumors has opened up new possibilities for effective cancer therapy. Nevertheless, many ASS-positive HCC cell lines are found to be resistant to ADI treatment, although most require arginine for proliferation. Thus far, an arginine-depleting enzyme for killing ASS-positive tumors has not been reported. Here, we provide direct evidence that recombinant human arginase (rhArg) inhibits ASS-positive HCCs. All the five human HCC cell lines we used were sensitive to rhArg but ADI had virtually no effect on these cells. They all expressed ASS, but not ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC), the enzyme that converts ornithine, the product of degradation of arginine with rhArg, to citrulline, which is converted back to arginine via ASS. Transfection of HCC cells with OTC resulted in resistance to rhArg. Thus, OTC expression alone may be sufficient to induce rhArg resistance in ASS-positive HCC cells. This surprising correlation between the lack of OTC expression and sensitivity of ASS-positive HCC cells shows that OTC-deficient HCCs are sensitive to rhArg-mediated arginine depletion. Therefore, pretreatment tumor gene expression profiling of ASS and OTC could aid in predicting tumor response to arginine depletion with arginine-depleting enzymes. We have also shown that the rhArg native enzyme and the pegylated rhArg (rhArg-peg(5,000mw)) gave similar anticancer efficacy in vitro. Furthermore, the growth of the OTC-deficient Hep3B tumor cells (ASS-positive and ADI-resistant) in mice was inhibited by treatment with rhArg-peg(5,000mw), which is active alone and is synergistic in combination with 5-fluorouracil. Thus, our data suggest that rhArg-peg(5,000mw) is a novel agent for effective cancer therapy.Cancer Research 02/2007; 67(1):309-17. · 7.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many eucaryotic promoters contain multiple binding sites for sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins. In some cases, these proteins have been shown to interact synergistically to activate transcription. In this study, we address the possibility that the transcription factor Sp1 can synergistically activate a native human promoter in a cellular context that closely resembles that of a single-copy gene. Using DNase I footprinting with affinity-purified Sp1, we show that the human argininosuccinate synthetase (AS) promoter contains three sites that bind Sp1 with different affinities. These binding sites were mutated to abolish Sp1 binding, individually and in all possible combinations, to generate a series of AS promoter-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) expression constructs. Mutations designed to increase Sp1 binding were also introduced at each site. The in vivo transcriptional activity of these mutant AS promoter-CAT constructs was then measured in stably transfected human RPMI 2650 cell lines. Our results show that each of the three Sp1-binding sites contributes to full activation of the human AS promoter and that the relative contribution of each site correlates well with its in vitro affinity for Sp1. More importantly, we find that the three Sp1-binding sites when present in the same promoter activate transcription to a level that is 8 times greater than would be expected given their individual activities in the absence of the other two sites. Thus, we provide direct evidence that Sp1-binding sites in their native context in a human promoter can interact synergistically in vivo to activate transcription. The ability to activate transcription synergistically may be the reason that many cellular promoters have multiple Sp1-binding sites arranged in tandem and in close proximity.Molecular and Cellular Biology 05/1991; 11(4):1935-43. · 5.53 Impact Factor